Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Inspirational Romance

“Never lose sight of the fact that Christian women read romance novels for the same reason any other woman does:  entertainment.” Brenda Coulter

On any given day I love reading a good romance novel – specifically an African American romance.  Problem is, I have to be careful when I pick one up and turn to that first page, because even though I’m usually a very focused, goal oriented individual – a good romance story will make me forget everything that I’m suppose to be doing!  So I strategize on when I’m going to do my reading.  I make deals with myself.  After I take care of a few things on my “to do list,” I then allow myself the pleasure of reading a few chapters…which often turns into the whole book.

A few years ago, I had this bright idea – “I’m going to write a romance novel.”  Like many new writers, I figured since I enjoyed reading them, I should be able to write one.  Ha! Easier said than done.  Especially since I wanted my romance novel to not only be romantic, but I also wanted it to be spiritually based.  Who knew how challenging that could be?  Trying to merge Christian themes with a romantic relationship without getting too sexually explicit is no easy feat!

Actually, it wasn’t until I completed the second or third draft of my first manuscript, Forgive Me, that I found out that in inspirational romances, there can be no excessive violence, cursing, and most importantly – no sex before marriage.  Aren’t romance novels all about the sex? And some publishers who publish “Christian” romance (a small difference from inspirational romance) barely even want a kiss included. …can you imagine? 

So by now you probably see one of my challenges of writing my latest inspirational romance novel, His Ultimate Love.  Trying to find that right balance of inspiration and romance can be tricky, but I constantly remind myself that most importantly, I want my story to inspire the reader as well as provide some enjoyment. So my sensual, imperfect characters are immersed in realistic situations, and by the end of the story, they demonstrate faith in Jesus Christ.  Well…at least they will when I finish the story

July 30, 2010 - Posted by | Writing

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